Volume 5, Issue 3
  • ISSN 1569-2159
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9862
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This article is in the first place about the syntactic variants allowing for the elimination of those complements which do appear in active as opposed to passive, in causative as opposed to recessive and in personal as opposed to impersonal constructions in Italian (and other Romance languages). In the second place we will have a close look at why and when these variants seem to be preferably used in political speeches. On many occasions the political orator obviously opts not to state explicitly who the agent responsible for an action is and therefore linguistically resorts to a passive, a recessive or an impersonal construction. Our theses will be supported by excerpts from speeches by Mussolini, delivered between 1938 and 1944. Mussolini’s personality must have been an extremely complex and contradictory one. It is, among other things, these diathetical variants allowing for the elimination of complements which made it possible for him to conceal from his audiences how far he was away from his original socialist ideals once he was in power.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): diathesis; Discourse analysis; fascism; Mussolini; rhetoric; valence theory; World War II
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